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Citizen Preparedness Program Held Wednesday

Police will host an emergency training session for on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the Verona Community Center for residents registered for the program.

Natural disasters such as Super Storm Sandy show us how prepared we really are for emergencies.

A natural disaster is just one example of an emergency situation, which is why the Verona, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells and North Caldwell police departments are hosting the Community College Citizen Preparedness Program (3CP2).

The session will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Verona Community Center, 880 Bloomfield Ave Verona, NJ.

"Training citizens to be prepared in case of a disaster is beneficial to everyone," said Verona Police Captain Mitchell Stern. "When people are properly trained, they become less likely to have to contact emergency services for non-life threatening needs immediately after disaster strikes."

"Any reduction in requests for service allows us to free up valuable resources that can then be committed to more urgent issues," he said.

This program, made possible with the help of the Essex County College Police Academy, will provide training to all residents, families, businesses, community organizations, civic groups and anyone else interested in becoming better prepared during a disaster.

"Given the recent weather events, how many of us prepared a 'jump bag' or 'go kit' that was at the ready if we needed to evacuate our home?" police said. "Did we know what to bring with us, and, perhaps equally important, what to leave behind?"

The free, two-hour training session will focus on what to do in the event of a natural, manmade or technological disaster. Police will teach about threat awareness and assessment; sheltering and evacuation; and recovery and resources.

“Participants will be better prepared to function for 72 hours during a disaster without first responder assistance by being able to access and share appropriate information and training,” police said.

To register for the Community College Citizen Preparedness Program, email your name and telephone number to pacademy@essex.edu or call 973-877-4350.

“There is no deadline, however the program is very popular, so to avoid being turned away because of seating capacity, we suggest registering as soon as possible,” said Verona Police Captain Mitchell Stern when registration first opened.

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